Powerful Malian Music Triumphs In Exile

Music, one of the most important forms of communication in Mali, disappeared overnight in 2012. Rather than lay down their instruments, Mali’s musicians fought back.

They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile, is a documentary which follows various musicians in Mali – in the wake of a jihadist takeover and subsequent banning of music in the region. This story of Malian artists finding their voice amidst the displacement of war joins the HRAFF 2016 festival program.


Songhoy Blues (1)


The film features one of the world’s most exciting new bands, Songhoy Blues; created when four budding musicians from different corners of Mali fled to exile in the southern town of Bamako. Writing and performing in response to the conflict with energy and a refusal to be dictated by extremist groups, the musicians turned crisis into opportunity by forming a band.

These rising stars captured the attention of Damon Albarn (Blur), Brian Eno and Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and released their debut album, Music in Exile, in 2015 to international acclaim. Their sound is Rock, RnB, & Blues layered on Malian grooves – it’s infectious, mesmerising, and layered.

Revelatory” is not an overstatement to describe the power of Songhoy Blues”BILLBOARD

In addition to the band’s cinematic appearance in the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, Songhoy Blues are currently touring Australia from the 9th to the 22nd of March. This is a unique chance to experience the powerful desert rock of Songhoy Blues in a live performance, before further connecting with their story through the documentary.

Tickets to They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile will be available from April 6th 2016.

Songhoy Blues 2016 Tour Dates:
9 March  Astor Theatre
11 & 12 March   Port Fairy Folk Festival
13 March  Golden Plains Festival
14 March  WOMADelaide
16 March  Melbourne Recital Centre
22 March  City Recital Hall

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